Your Ultimate Piano Purchase Guide

Your Ultimate Piano Purchase Guide

Digital pianos. Electronic keyboards. MIDI controllers. Whatever happened to the good old fashioned piano?

Along with everything else in your life, the piano has taken some fairly radical steps forward, thanks to technology. But if you’re looking at bringing music into your home and the piano is your choice in instrument, you have a lot of options available to you. 

Acoustic Piano

For most of us, when we hear the word “piano” our minds drift to the traditional piano you imagined sitting in the corner of your grandmother’s home. They’ve been around for generations and are a great option for anyone desiring to learn to play. Your Ultimate Piano Purchase Guide

Acoustic pianos are often the centerpoint of a room. They have a variety of finishes and styles to match your personal taste. They have a look and feel you can’t find in any other instrument; plus a richness in tone that is hard to replicate. 

Yet we also understand that they aren’t for everyone. They can be expensive and they take up a lot of space. That’s fine if you have a large home. But if you prefer urban living and small spaces, a traditional piano may be beyond your means. 

Digital Piano

Think of a digital piano as a souped-up acoustic piano. Yes, you have to plug it in. But it has all the versatility of an acoustic piano, plus it adds a few extras today’s modern players will love. Want to practice without disturbing the rest of the house? Just plug in the headphones and you’re on your way. 

While digital pianos are often slimmer than acoustic pianos, they are still pretty heavy and bulky. And no matter how much you try, they never will provide you with the high quality tone you can achieve with the very best acoustic pianos. 

Keyboards

Keyboards are synonyms for portability. You can pack them up and take them with you, or simply tuck them into a closet or underneath the bed when you are through. That makes them ultra-convenient in tiny spaces. 

To get modern features comparable to traditional acoustic pianos, be prepared to look at high quality manufacturers. Focus in on keyboards with weighted technology, and tonal quality that’s comparable to acoustic sounds. 

MIDI Controllers

MIDI controllers are the ultimate in portability. Their slim profile makes them easy to carry anywhere. Musicians can incorporate MIDI controllers directly into their recording setups. But they don’t have built-in speakers, so if you want to hear what you’re playing, you need to be connected to technology. 

While selecting a first piano doesn’t have to be difficult – you can always upgrade in the future – it is important to select enough options to be able to create beautiful music from the beginning. Nothing is more frustrating to a new piano player if they can’t “hear” quality while they play. 

What are you currently playing on? 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Can You Buy A Piano On Amazon?

Can You Buy A Piano On Amazon?

It used to be if you wanted a piano, you’d head to your local dealer. Craigslist gave you the opportunity to buy directly from an owner. Ebay expanded your search location, giving you access to buy from anyone, anywhere in the world. So why not Amazon? With just a quick search, Amazon can pull up a wide variety of pianos and piano related products and let you search with your fingers through their selection. 

Shouldn’t that be good enough?

We search Amazon for what we want and need. It’s turned into our go-to tool. 

It gives us a low price. It can have it delivered within days, sometimes even hours. And we can read reviews to determine what others have to say. What’s not to love?Can You Buy A Piano On Amazon?

While that may work well on things like toasters and books, for more personalized items, it’s still a difficult way to shop for pianos.

Let’s take a look at some of the reviews. 

One reviewer said this about a piano he bought:

There are better pianos out there, but not for the price. The keyboard has nicely weighted keys that are comfortable to play. 

That could motivate you to say yes to this piano. But what if he bought the piano for his child to tinker with? He had no intention of making music with it for years to come. And when you feel the keys, “cheap” is the only term that comes to mind. 

Or consider this review:

This is the best money I’ve spent.  The feel of the keys is extremely realistic. And I play several hours every week.

What she doesn’t tell you is how novice she really is. Has she ever sat down at another piano and had the ability to play? How well do her skills transfer over?

A five star rating from someone who uses it more like a toy might not be the best review for you to judge the quality. Spending a lot of your money on something that never sounds quite right to you would never be considered a bargain. 

A piano is a personal item that is best found through touching and feeling. You can hear the differences between pianos. You can feel the differences between the keys. 

And the best way to find the perfect piano for you is to come in and find the perfect one for you. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Selecting The Right Piano Brand Before You Buy

Selecting The Right Piano Brand Before You Buy

Are you ready to buy a new piano? What brand should you buy?

There are many words of advice on selecting the type of piano: upright, grand, or digital. And a lot of that depends on space and your ultimate goal. If you’re traveling with your piano, or you don’t have a lot of room, a digital makes perfect sense. If you want to use it as a statement piece in your home, nothing but a grand will do. 

But when you’ve narrowed down your desires enough to finalize your purchase, what brand should you select? Is there a difference?Selecting The Right Piano Brand Before You Buy

Do a quick search online, and you’ll find there are hundreds of different brands across the world. Wikipedia lists just a partial list, and if you click and look at it, you’ll be scrolling for quite a while. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_piano_manufacturers

Dig a little deeper, and you’ll quickly get confused. 

So many brands. 

So little time!

What’s someone in the market for a piano to do?

Our first word of advice is to focus in on quality. 

Many different brands build high quality pianos. Many different brands produce a piano that can endure a lifetime of enjoyment. 

Start by reading our recent post The 10 Best Piano Brands Ever to understand a little bit more. 

Want what some consider the best? Read all about Buying A Used Steinway Piano.

 

Need a little more advice? Take a look at our Guide To Piano Brands.

Then stop by and see what the different pianos offer. 

You can’t compare when a private seller only has one. What you see is what you get. 

But when you shop with a reputable dealer, you can compare and learn for yourself what will provide you with the best sound. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Grand Piano Keyboard – Are There Differences?

Grand Piano Keyboard – Are There Differences?

If you’ve been thinking of investing in a piano for yourself or your child, it may be difficult to decide which is the perfect one to buy. 

As you advance in your piano playing abilities, the choices can remain difficult, especially when you’re ready for an upgrade. Should you invest in a grand piano? Or should you upgrade your keyboard to something better? 

There are clear differences between the two. And if you’ve played the piano for any length of time, you understand the complexities fairly well. With a digital keyboard, you have the option of making different sounds. With an acoustic piano, you can’t. Grand Piano Keyboard - Are There Differences?

But there are more subtle differences you should consider too. 

What music you want to create

Different pianists like to play different songs. If you haven’t honed in on your preferences, sticking with an acoustic can provide you with the basic skills. However, if you know you prefer jazz, pop, maybe a little rock, moving towards the digital piano may be right for you. The quickest way to become frustrated is not to have the right options for what you want to create. Listen to your gut and select the right instrument to create what you desire. 

What options you’ll need

No matter what type of music you want to play, keep in mind that it’s important to have certain characteristics on the final piano you select. Standard foot pedals are important to play certain songs. Weighted keys are imperative to building your skills as a well-versed pianist. If you have the desire to transfer your music and edit and create online, it’s important to have the right programs in place. Before you buy, be sure to sit down and tally a list to ensure you get the right selection for your needs. 

What maintenance level is important to you

With traditional pianos, tuning is an important part of upkeep. With digital keyboards, you’ll never have tuning needs to ensure a continuous quality sound. Yet digital presents its own problems; if you travel, how will you keep your keyboard safe from harm’s way? 

What are your living arrangements 

This is especially important if you are purchasing for a child. If your child wants to continue playing as they move to college, or rent an apartment on their own, a digital keyboard may offer them more convenience. If you want a grand piano to be on display in your forever home, an acoustic may be the wisest choice. 

There isn’t a right or wrong answer to finding the perfect piano for you. Grand piano? Keyboard? The choice is yours. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Why Piano Makes A Great First Instrument

Why Piano Makes A Great First Instrument

Have you ever heard a child pick up and play the trumpet for the very first time? 

The noise that comes from within would never be described as music. 

Or how about a violin? One pull of the bow across the strings will leave you with raised eyebrows and shaking your head, willing the sound to go away. 

Have a child pick up a guitar and ask them to play a certain note again and again. You’ll be lucky if you can tell they were anywhere near the same range. 

Most instruments take a fair amount of talent to make them sound like they’re supposed to. It takes time to learn to hold your mouth just so. Or to place your fingers on the strings. Or to move your hands the way you do. Why Piano Makes A Great First Instrument

That’s not the case with a piano. No matter how novice you are at playing, anyone can sit down and touch a key and produce the note as it was intended to be played. If you touch middle C, it will sound just like anyone else who touches the same note. 

If a piano has been tuned, striking the key will create the perfect tone. You can tap it or punch it hard and the true tone of the note will ring through. 

Try that with a trumpet or violin. 

But just because it’s easier to create the right notes, doesn’t make the piano that much easier to play. In fact, many would argue that the piano is the most difficult instrument to master. 

Learning any instrument takes a certain amount of time to master the basic skills. A guitarist will have to memorize and execute chords. A trumpet player will have to learn both fingering techniques, and the different ways notes are created with the mouth. Even a drummer has to learn to use both hands in a variety of ways to create a multitude of different sounds. 

But a piano takes learning to another level. It requires both hands navigating up and down the keyboard, having the option of touching and combining 88 keys at any given time to create sounds. The hands must work together to create music. And for most people, that’s something they’ve never had to master before. Most of us are born favoring one hand over the other. With the piano, you have to put everything into making them work together. And to do so requires brain work you’ve never had to use in any other way. It takes a lifetime to master. 

Yet from the moment you sit down for the very first time, touching a note gives you a sense of wonder. With a little playing, you can pick out a tune. With a little coaching, you can play a recognizable melody. 

And that’s where it all begins. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Buying A Baby Grand Piano

Buying A Baby Grand Piano

So you’re ready to buy a baby grand piano for your home. 

Baby grands make a statement. They aren’t put away when you’re done playing them. They aren’t tucked away into a corner. They aren’t hidden away in a closet. 

Baby grands are put on display. 

That makes it worth the time to find the right one for your home. 

Before you settle, keep these tips in mind. 

Stick with reputable brandsBuying A Baby Grand Piano

With many things we buy, a “deal” is often too irresistible to put aside. Trust your instincts when purchasing a baby grand an say no to the deals. There are a lot of working parts with a piano. And if something isn’t working right, you’ll notice it immediately. Never settle on a brand without doing your research. A reputable dealer will even encourage it. 

Size matters

If you’ve found a baby grand that’s below 5 feet in length, it’s better to move on. It’s probably not much more than a toy. According to industry standards, a concert grand is anything more than 7 feet in length. A classic grand is in the six to seven feet range, while the baby grand is under six feet in length. The longer models have better action response. They also produce a better sound. If size matters to fit into your room, you’re almost always better off shifting to an upright if you need a smaller piano to fit the space. 

Used pianos 

Don’t be afraid to shift to the used piano market to get the high-quality instrument you’re looking for. You don’t have to search Craigslist to find the perfect choice. A reputable dealer buys and sells high-quality used instruments and is happy to steer you to the right piano for your situation.  What’s great about visiting a dealer and seeing many pianos side by side is your ability to hear them in action. What makes one piano different from another? Sit down and play for a bit. You’ll quickly see what it is. 

Select the environment carefully

Have you always dreamed of placing your piano in a specific area of your home? Is it the best place for your piano? Pianos are high maintenance instruments. They won’t perform well with areas that are constantly changing in temperature, humidity, sunlight, or even dust and debris. If a piano is subjected to the elements for too long, the damage may increase enough to be irreparable. 

A piano is an investment

When you invest in a baby grand, it’s something that will live in your home for a long time. With the right maintenance, it can give you pleasure for decades to come. That means proper tuning every year. That means proper maintenance and repair as the need arises. 

Are you looking for a new baby grand piano for your home?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Should You Order Your Digital Piano Online?

Should You Order Your Digital Piano Online?

We’ve turned into a world of online shoppers. Whether you want your latest beauty products, or a few items for tomorrow night’s dinner, all of your selections are just a click away. 

Some things are easy to buy online. 

If you want a new toaster, you can do a little searching to find which toasters have high ratings. You can decide your budget, find the best for your dollar, and hit the “buy” button to have it delivered in days. 

The toaster is mechanical. It works – it toasts. And as long as it does that, you’ll be happy with it sitting in your kitchen and being ready to work for you whenever you desire. Should You Order Your Digital Piano Online?

But other things are more personal. A picture doesn’t do it justice. If you can’t touch it and feel it, you won’t know if it truly meets your needs. 

Do a quick search for digital pianos, and you’ll find a wealth of information at your fingertips. You’ll find:

  • Photographs of all the makes and models
  • Reviews telling you what someone likes and doesn’t like about their purchase
  • Star ratings
  • Videos of a particular model in action

And if you’ve never played the piano before, all of this may seem like it’s enough to make a final selection. 

Yet playing a piano goes beyond good reviews and five star ratings. Just because someone else likes it doesn’t make it the right choice for you. 

A piano is personal. You have to touch it, hear it, feel the notes. And every piano creates a different sound. 

The main challenge with digital pianos is in engineering the touch and feel of an acoustic piano. Because a digital piano doesn’t operate with strings, hammers, and keys, it depends on a recording to emulate to sound. Every manufacturer does this in its own unique way. 

It also depends on weighting the keys in the right way. If you’ve ever played an acoustic piano, you know they have “give” when you press them. If you’ve ever played a digital piano without that “give”, you know the feeling isn’t the same. And that difference can impede your ability to play. If you can’t transfer your skills between different types of piano, you’ll be frustrated with your performance in the long run. 

The best way to ensure you have everything you need is to speak with a professional. Stop by today and we’ll help you select the right digital piano for your needs. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

25 Reasons To Buy A Piano

25 Reasons To Buy A Piano

1. Pianos are classical. The piano has been virtually unchanged in the past few hundred years. Why mess with perfection?

2. They are the perfect instrument. Harmony or melody, the piano does it all. 

3. The sound. Nothing sounds quite as grandeur as piano music. 

4. It’s not just a instrument, it’s a work of art. Place a grand piano in a room and it commands attention. 

25 Reasons To Buy A Piano5. It’s the one piece of furniture you’ll be happy to pass down from generation to generation. 

6. Acoustic or digital – there are many different ways to bring music to your life. 

7. If you’ve always wanted to be a rock star, the piano’s the best place to start. Take a look at any band; the piano and guitars are always front and center. 

8. Take your music to another level. Many digital pianos have easy ability to record and manipulate the music you make. You can edit it, even share it on social media easily. 

9. Piano playing is a great way to relax. Sit down for even five minutes and you’ll find yourself relax and unwind. 

10. It sharpens your concentration. No other activity has your hands and your brain working in quite the same way. 

11. Playing piano improves your time management skills. You have to plan out your week, fitting in practice sessions and lessons. 

12. It enhances your listening skills. Tapping out a tune means you have to listen for many things, including tone quality. 

13. It prevents memory loss. Because of the processing it takes to create music on the piano, it’s been shown to lessen the effects of age related disease. 

14. It helps with memory. It’s quite an accomplishment when you can put both hands to use on the keyboard in different ways, read the music in front of you, and listen for all the different aspects of playing a tune. 

15. Piano playing increases your language skills. Piano players are also better at expressing themselves conversationally and grammatically. 

16. It encourages creativity. No matter what song you play, there is always room to add a little of your own personality. 

17. Playing piano teaches you perseverance. No matter how much trouble you’re having playing a song, with a little more work, you’ll get it right. 

18. It improves reading comprehension. Because it takes a lot of skill to read and memorize music, it also triggers that part of the brain that allows you to read and recall the information at a later date. 

19. It helps with hand-eye coordination. Because it strengthens fine motor skills, it makes piano playing a perfect activity for young and old alike. 

20. It makes your brain better at math skills. Kids that play the piano early in life and stick with it as they move through school perform significantly better in math than their peers. 

21. It boosts self-esteem. Nothing makes you feel better than giving yourself a goal and hitting the target. 

22. Piano playing improves your rhythm. Rhythm isn’t just essential for playing music; it also converts into allowing a person to perform better in school and on tests. 

23. It expands your cultural knowledge. It introduces diversity by playing music from all over the world. 

24. It allows for more tactile learning experience. You perform differently when playing the piano compared to other activities, such as sports or arts. 

25. Piano playing reduces anxiety. And with anxiety at an all-time high throughout the classroom environment, a little bit of practice when your child gets home can help set the stage for better homework time. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

The Best Place To Buy A Digital Piano Is At A Piano Dealer

The Best Place To Buy A Digital Piano Is At A Piano Dealer

If you shop online for a piano, you might miss crucial steps to ensuring you find the right digital piano for your needs. 

If you shop for your new digital piano at a piano dealer, he’ll work hard to ensure you make the right selection by asking you a few questions. 

How much space do you have?

Even though you’re selecting a digital piano, they come in a variety of sizes. Will you leave it set up in your home? Or will you be tucking it away when you’re finished practicing? 

The Best Place To Buy A Digital Piano Is At A Piano DealerWhat purpose do you want the piano to have?

For some musicians, they take their piano wherever they go. For others, they prefer to play at home for their own enjoyment. There are right choices for every need and desire. 

Do you like the sound? 

It’s important that you enjoy the sound of your piano. We all hear things in slightly different ways. Test out several pianos to hear the differences; you’ll be surprised at how different they all can be. This isn’t a time to hit a few keys. If you can’t play a song, get someone who can. Sit down and really listen to the way your potential pianos play. 

Who will be playing it? 

Is this for you or is it a family instrument? Will your child be using it to learn, or bringing it with them to college? Be sure everyone who plays it is involved in the process. You might miss crucial elements that they require, and you haven’t considered. 

How long do you want the piano to last? 

Some parents know they’ll be upgrading in a year or two. Others hope the piano can last for years. We can help you think realistically based on your needs today. We can also provide you with information about upgrade and buyback programs, which can help you when you’re ready to upgrade. 

What’s your budget?

When you search online, chances are you look only at pianos with a certain dollar figure in mind. Stop by a piano dealer and he’ll show you a wide range of pianos, giving you a little education on what your money can buy. What if you can upgrade and have a piano last for years – and it’s only a few dollars more? 

What other questions should I ask?

When you buy online or from a big box dealer, what you see is what you get. What you buy is based on your own knowledge. But when you go to a piano dealer, they can help you understand what your choices really are. They can help you make the best choice for your situation, and be happy with your choice for many years to come. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Want Smarter Kids? Buy a Piano

Want Smarter Kids? Buy a Piano

What if you had proof that something would make your child better at language skills, would you do it? 

As parents, we’re looking for that “magic” all the time. That’s why we invest in lessons, after school activities, and purchase resources that make certain promises. 

What if someone told you that practicing the piano was “magic?” Would you add piano practice to their daily routines? Want Smarter Kids? Buy a Piano

According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, there is evidence that practicing the piano early in life enhances the way a child processes sounds. That transfers into the way a child hears language, giving them better skills at language acquisition. 

The study sorted 4 and 5 year old Mandarin-speaking Chinese kindergartners into three groups. One took piano lessons each week, one received reading instruction, and the final group did neither. The group that practiced the piano did significantly better at distinguishing small nuances in language processing. 

Other studies have also shown advances in language skills when music lessons are incorporated into their daily routines. But it doesn’t stop there. 

Music has been shown to be a powerful treatment for many different cognitive disorders, including things like ADHD.

Piano affects the frontal lobe, which is responsible for decision making. It can boost problem solving, and help fuel spontaneous creativity. 

Piano playing can improve multitasking abilities. Because playing the piano requires many different things at the same time – playing with both hands, reading music, following pitch, operating pedals – it helps a child be more comfortable doing different things at the same time. 

If you want to give your child every advantage as they grow and develop, look no further than the piano. It’s long been thought of as a cornerstone in a family household; maybe there’s a good reason. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172